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Showing posts from December, 2018

Making a Killing

Measured by FBI homicide data, the United States is dramatically safer yet people feel less secure. Here’s why. Murder is an infamous crime from private crimes of passion between lovers to public world-rendering instants like “9/11”. In the United States, the blitzkrieg of homicide in the 1980s and relative Pax Americana in the 1990s left scattered killing fields with little explanation from criminology and less justice from courts. We do not know who did much of the killing in hundreds of thousands of cases. When national killing peaked in 1993, there were 7901 unsolved homicides in the United States that year; of those, 17% (1388) were unsolved in New York City. NYC’s Rudolph Giuliani attributed subsequent peace that yielded 2018’s 50-year murder low to local policing of disorder such as  “broken windows”: "obviously murder and graffiti are two vastly different crimes. But they are part of the same continuum, and a climate that tolerates one is more likely to tolerate the other…

The Story of Good Music

P1 V1 41 yo Terrence Thornton of Virginia Beach-via-Gun-Hill projects in Bronx, New York rapped recently about the pain of broken wedlock, pride of fatherhood, and authenticity in art. He did so very publicly, very brutally, named names and left listeners shocked at his nerve and audacity. Thornton gleefully shattered the aura of invincibility shrouding his business rival Audrey Graham’s public persona as the face of global entertainment brand “Drake”. Thornton revealed Graham acting (earnestly) in blackface, disclosed Graham’s secret paternity, attacked Graham’s conduct as a son, mocked the ill health of Graham’s best friend, and injured Graham’s new product launches planned for this summer. His work, "The Story of Adidon", borrowed the naming convention, music, and “my skin is black” refrain from Jay-Z's "The Story of OJ" -- itself a song about denying self-evident attributes and immutable facts. In subsequent radio interviews, Thornton made it clear that he …


US President George HW Bush and NAFTA died November 30, 2018. Bush in Houston, Texas. NAFTA in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Former Mexican President Salinas sat with Angela Merkel at Bush's December 2 remembrance at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. Though two southwest governors, New Mexico's Bill Richardson and Arkansas Bill Clinton, get much credit and blame for NAFTA's 1994 Congressional passage, since Presidents Bush and Salinas, and PM Mulroney signed NAFTA October 7, 1992 in San Antonio, Texas, US murder rates plummeted in an unexplained 1990s US criminology mystery and plausible Cold War peace dividend. Yet five years after 9/11, Presidents Bush and Calderon's Merida Initiative industrialized fast and furious war across south Texas borderplexes. They lit up the continental crossroads and geopolitical pivot point at the Center of the Known Universe via escalated combat policies sustained by their successor administrations, Obama and Peña Nieto.

Initially cent…